Apprentice opportunity at Gigha’s famous garden

Bryony White, Head Gardener at Achamore

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Ambitious plans for a new horticulture apprentice programme at Achamore Gardens on Gigha have been announced.

Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust has teamed up with Argyll College University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) to take on a modern apprentice.

Achamore Gardens is internationally renowned for its rhododendron collection and extensive gardens developed by Sir James Horlick in the middle of last century.

After years of decline, Achamore is embarking on a major restoration project which will respect the heritage and vision of Sir James’ original garden, whilst giving a nod to the changing face of gardening in the 21st century with new features adding to the visitor experience.

Historically, apprentices were a key part of Achamore’s workforce, with one of the garden’s longest-serving head gardeners starting out as the apprentice before working his way up to the top job.

The new two-year apprenticeship will cover learning skills across the gardening spectrum and being involved in all aspects of Achamore’s restoration while achieving academic qualifications delivered by Argyll College UHI’s Horticulture Department.

Bryony White, head gardener at Achamore, said: ‘By training up apprentices, we can offer young people a high-quality training placement and bring more young people to the island, which is great for the economy.

‘I hope the programme offers young people far more than just the bare minimum requirements, giving them the skills and future potential for a life-long career in horticulture.’

The deadline for applications is Friday September 25. For more information visit www.gigha.org.uk.